U.S. Forest Service and Coca-Cola Announce the Restoration of One Billion Liters of Water
WASHINGTON—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas today announced that their partnership to restore and protect damaged watersheds on national forests achieved a milestone of one billion liters of water restored, and that the partnership will commit to double that outcome through 2018. The 13 restoration areas are located on national forest land, which provides drinking water to more than 60 million Americans, and they ensure future generations will have access to fresh water.
"This milestone that Coca-Cola, USDA and our partners have reached is just the latest example of how partnerships between the public and private sectors can reach more people, harness more innovation, and do more good than either government or businesses can achieve alone," said Vilsack. "America's 193 million acres of public forests and grasslands supply the drinking water for 60 million Americans, support approximately 200,000 full and part time jobs and contribute over $13 billion to local communities each year. This partnership is based on shared goals of ensuring healthy watersheds and public engagement that serves those local communities, and will continue to deliver on that commitment for years to come."
"A thriving watershed is critical to every community we serve and to our business," said Douglas. "Coca-Cola is on a journey and plans to continue to replenish 100 percent of the water we use in our beverages and their production and return it to nature and communities. We could not accomplish the milestone we celebrate today without the expertise, guidance and resources of the USDA, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation and many other organizations and community partners. In the coming years, we will continue to work together to build scale and expand these projects and partnerships."
This public-private partnership includes community organizations and taps their collective expertise to address increasing stress on water resources during challenging budget times. Dozens of local communities and hundreds of volunteers and youth worked together on water resource management education and stewardship activities.